Smoking Cessation: The First Three Days

Stop spelled out in broken cigarettes

Information every smoker should know about, and what to expect during cessation.

In our previous entry, we began our discussion on smoking cessation with what nicotine addiction is and how it affects the brain. Today, we are going to focus on one of the toughest parts of the battle—the first three days.

A person who’s quitting will experience some of the most severe withdrawal symptoms during that time. It takes 72 hours for the body to fully remove nicotine from its system. While the withdrawal symptoms can be very real, it’s important to not psyche yourself out for the task at hand. Millions of people have quit! Armed with the knowledge of what to expect, you can weather the storm and finally free yourself from cigarettes.

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Quit Smoking: The Facts of Nicotine Addiction.

Quit Smoking - What You Need to Know about Nicotine Addiction

To quit smoking begins with a single step, and you’re already here.

With the approach of the New Year, it is inevitable that many people will begin to think about what they want to accomplish in 2015. Some will vow fiscal responsibility, weight loss, to go back to school, abstain from alcohol or any other number of typical resolutions that are unfortunately abandoned.

One of the most common resolutions people make is to quit smoking. Addiction is a powerful enemy and can be a battle fought on two fronts physically and psychologically. Over the next few weeks, we aim to arm you with the knowledge and resources you’ll need to make sure you quit smoking for good.

In today’s post we will focus on learning what specifically makes smoking so difficult to quit, while also breaking down the addiction for what it really is.

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4 Tips to Regulate Sleeping Habits This Holiday Season

man asleep at computer








With the holidays quickly approaching, everyone is scrambling to buy last minute gifts, running from one holiday party to the next, and staying up through the night to wrap Santa’s presents. The hustle and bustle of the holidays can be exhausting, especially when sleep is the last priority on your list; however, here at Massac Memorial Hospital, we want to help you form good sleeping habits so that you can be the life of the party this holiday season.

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6 Easy Ways to Avoid Holiday Stress

Holiday woes

We like to think that holidays are all fun and games, but let’s face it – they are extremely stressful too! Here at Massac Memorial Hospital, we care about your physical and mental health. To keep your mind, body and soul in peak condition, try these simple yet effective stress-relieving tips. Sometimes, the solution can be as easy as changing your expectations and taking a little more time for yourself.

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6 Facts You Should Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Couple On Winter Walk Through Frosty Landscape

It’s getting colder outside, which means less daytime and more time spent indoors. Have you ever experienced feelings of depression and lethargy around this time of year that you can’t seem to explain? If so, you are not alone. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, about 4 to 6 percent of people are affected by seasonal affective disorder each year, with another 10 to 20 percent that may experience its symptoms. In order to keep your mental health in good condition, it’s important to understand what this disorder is, how to identify symptoms, and what you can do to stay happy and energetic during the winter months.  Here are a few things you should know about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

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5 Tips for Avoiding Fall Allergies


woman with headache

Regardless of how many years each of us have spent struggling with fall allergies, we’re still caught off guard by the symptoms that come along with the changing colors and cooler weather. Luckily, there are ways to battle these common allergens so you can spend more time picking pumpkins and less time wasting Kleenex tissues.

1. Use over-the-counter and prescription medications – While there is no real cure for fall allergies, there are treatments that can ease the symptoms of sore throat and congestion so you can carry on with daily activities. First, you should assess the severity of your symptoms. OTC medications can provide temporary relief from allergies and include options such as pills, liquids, nasal sprays and eye drops. If you’re symptoms are severe or persistent, a prescription antihistamine and decongestant may be the best option.

2. Avoid windy days and early mornings– Ragweed, a plant that grows abundantly in our region, is one of the main culprits behind annoying fall allergies. We are easily affected by ragweed pollen as it spreads rapidly through the air, collecting on our clothing and hair. Avoid this allergy trap by spending more time indoors on days that are especially windy, as well as early mornings when higher amounts of pollen are released.

3. Wash your hair frequently and dry your clothes – It’s impossible to avoid all amounts of pollen in the air. Washing your hair before bedtime will rinse off the pollen that has accumulated throughout the day and can prevent you from ingesting pollen in your sleep. It’s also a good idea to start using the dryer to dry your clothes as opposed to hanging them outdoors. This will prevent pollen from sticking to your clothes while they dry.

4. Wear a face mask outdoors – Our allergies seem to get worse while we’re trying to catch up on yard work. A face mask will keep you from being exposed to pollen and mold spores that are found in the dead leaves you’re raking. Protecting yourself against these allergens will make jumping in a fresh pile of leaves look less like a death trap and more like a fun reward for your hard work! You can also benefit from a face mask during the morning hours or windy weather.

5. Get allergy tested – It’s easier to fight the battle against allergens when you know what you’re up against. Allergy skin tests will help you determine what your allergy triggers are so that you can take proper measures to avoid them. For example, an allergy skin test may reveal that you react to weed pollens, grass, mold spores, and trees. Once an assessment has been made to find the root of your allergic reactions, your physician can help you find treatments, including allergy shots, to deal with these symptoms effectively.

Be sure to follow these tips so you can appreciate the outdoors without calling in to work the next morning!

7 Ways to Get your Kids to Eat Healthy

7 Ways to Get your Kids to Eat Better Massac Memorial Hospital

Most families deal with having one or more children who are picky eaters. It can be a big challenge to get kids to eat healthy and filling meals on a daily basis.

So because September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate your child’s eating habits and help guide them to healthier alternatives.

Here are 7 helpful tips to integrate into your daily routine to help your kids get on a healthier track!

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